joy of nesting

Boxwood, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  And rosemary, and bay, and thyme. 
Gardening for me began as a necessity. I wanted the outside of my house to present itself well to the world.  I love all plants and garden paraphernalia such as statues, iron gates, and trellis. But when I first started out as a gardener and Jim, Christian, and I were in our first little starter house, my yard was mostly deck.
I had no idea what went into gardening or hard scape. I knew about tulips, daffodils, and half barrels. Pouring in the soil pretty much comprised my gardening skills.  Some three houses later I have more garden than I can manage alone.  I started tending to my Hillcrest garden before we even moved in. The house was in excellent condition for its age but the gardens needed a little help.

A lot of plants and the huge magnolia out front had to be removed. The ivy was in bad shape but the roses and mature azaleas were thriving. My dear friend and neighbor Mary watched in horror from the street below, hands on hips, as the tree service cut the magnolia down. It was over 75 feet and I think Mary felt it should have been left alone. Unfortunately it was uprooting our foundation.   

Melba and Lewis built the house in 1931 and lived there until about 1990. Melba was a real gardener and this garden looks the ways it does largely because of the designs she implemented early on.  I put some thought into the plants I chose as replacements, thinking of Melba and what she would have liked. I wanted it to respect her era and also reflect the Spanish style architecture.

What I “saw” in my mind was a garden with lots of greenery year round. I need greenery. It makes me feel healthy. I believe it’s nourishing to the soul. I planted lots of olives, more ivy, strawberry trees, English bay, Carolina laurel, bay standards, and several varieties of euonymous. My favorite greenery in the world being boxwood, I naturally have accumulated them throughout the yard. 
And I love what they do for your patio. My patio is concrete painted Timber Box Red from Kelley Moore and it looks better and feels better when “planted”. Melba’s peonies are beautiful this time of year. I also was thrilled to find a Lenten rose way up in the back yard! It’s the light chartreuse variety. And there is a camphor tree, lots of cotoneaster, a large mahonia, and woodwardia. I planted hydrangeas for arrangements in the summer.
Time for a little gardening, below.
My good friend Peggy decided she didn’t want Steve to have to maintain the fountain any longer and I’d always admired it’s special sound. She offered it to me recently and David did a beautiful job of installing it.  So grateful!

Even though the garden is minutes from our bustling downtown, it feels soft and protected.
Most items were purchased at my store S.S.Home. Topiary by Schubert’s Nursery. Iron daybed and muslin mattress by Comptoir de Famille. Long back cushion in striped ticking Two’s Company. Paisley down throw pillows by TAG. Coffee sack down pillows by Pottery Barn. Wicker furniture by Comptoir de Famille. Stone urns by Barreveld. Iron candelabra and red suzani style pillows Pier One Imports. Moorish style black metal hanging lantern by Lazy Susan. Rustic shutters custom designs by
Spring Moss.  
Thank you Baby.
The last of the old timers, my buddy Spreckie. He is an indoor dog but just loooves being outside with the people.
Boxwood Junkie. With evergreens, particularly those in pots, it’s really important to prune and feed. Potted evergreens especially need this because they don’t have as much new growth as deciduous plants and they don’t get as much nourishment from the soil like plants in the ground. I prefer to trim my evergreen topiary way back and feed right around Mother’s Day but it differs in other parts of the country. You want to trim when the danger of frost has passed but also before it gets too hot! Right in between. As maintenance feed them every other week, leaf feeding too, and trim them before they get too out of shape. 

June 15, 2010

  1. hi,

    i just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to tell you that i love your home and garden. i adore your front door!

    my garden is my refuge also. it's a place for me to escape the hard realities of life. that's why i love being out there so much.

    i also admire your strength in recovering from losing your husband of 25 years. that must have been devastating. it looks as if you are happy and healthy now, that could not have been easy. so anyway, i just wanted to say hi & nice to meet you.


  2. Mary Ann says:

    oh my, your garden is a beauty! i felt my heart skipped a beat till i got down to this portion. i will be adding you to my bloglist for sure. verbena cottage

  3. Thank you Mary Ann and Gardeners Cottage! So nice to hear from you both!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your garden is beautiful. A real credit to you.

  5. Pemberley says:

    Too bad about the magnolia, but what can you do? I love anything with boxwood and that fountain is fab. The whole garden, along with the house, is beautiful. Thank you for listing me in your blog roll, I will put you in mine as well.

  6. Mary Ann says:

    Your previous posts are awesome. Love how you describe your designs from a designer standpoint and some tips and little lessons you share. I appreciate that so much and great to learn something new. thanks for dropping by and your sweet note. love to visit your blog! verbena cottage

  7. Very pretty and I love the green front door!

  8. Unknown says:

    it looks beautiful! i love the green door, pink flowers, fountain, and the fact that your pup has his arms crossed — too cute! thanks so much for stopping by my blog and have a lovely weekend in your fabulous outdoor space!

  9. I just popped over from Verbena Cottage to say hello! Your blog is beautiful as are your home and gardens! I am now a follower and look forward to many more visits!


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